Everything you know about wars is combat. When you watch a war movie, it's about combat. What I experienced wasn't combat, it was a war. When you think of wars, you think of Afghanistan, Iraq, or World War Two. Not the Great War, Korea, Vietnam, or the Gulf. When you think of wars, it's the combat. Combat wasn't my war. My war was Vietnam, and combat was 25% of it. But people don't think of boot camp or enlistment. They don't think of anything but combat.
In my war, there was a hell of a lot more then combat.
Chapter One - My lifeEdit
My name is John Davis, I was born in North Carolina. Grew up there, lived there. It was a nice place. I had decent grades, and I learned to hunt.
My father was a Marine in World War Two. He fought in the Pacific. But, as he says, he was "more scared of the damn environment then of the Japs".
I was born and raised a strict Catholic.
During my childhood in the 50's, we learned and heard all about communism. How they would kill their own people, and spend more on the military then on their people.
In the 60's, I was living the life. I had my car, a girl, and a job. But soon, that would be taken away from me.
Chapter Two - Boot CampEdit
In 1966, all you heard about was the conflict in Vietnam. Most people supported the war, but soon, that would change.
My friends joined the military and went to Vietnam, and I soon followed. I joined the Marines, like my father did.
And after that, I arrived at Parris Island.
God that place was terrible.
First we swore at and insulted. Then we went to our bunks and met our drill instructor. He was scary as hell, I tell you.
We got are rifles from armory, and after some basic stuff, we go to bed. Then more rifle pratice, jogging, obstacle course. Sleep. Repeat. Sleep. Repeat. Sleep. Repeat.
I was isued an M14 rifle rather then an M16, the new rifle. I don't mind, it is a beautiful rifle. We do the now famous "My Rifle" creed every night. I become good at shooting, but I do poorly on the running and obstacle course.
Finally, the time has come. We finish boot camp. We are assigned our units. I am with the 1st Marines, and I am glad. We go to Vietnam tommorow, or we start going. It's half-way around the world. Jesus, it'll be a long trip. I go to sleep, exicted for Vietnam.
And I wake up tired at 6:00 A.M. as we are driven to the airfield where we head off.
During boot camp, I made a few good friends. They were my type of guys, and they were good at boot camp. We all got the same assignment, and we were happy about it. They got M16s, while I had the M14s.
As we ride, I think about Vietnam. The hot country with moskitos, snakes...
And I think about the gooks. The guys who we'll be fighting. But we arrive at the airfield, and we get on the plane. It lifts off.